Final Thoughts: Despite Injuries, Bears Put Together Best Performance Yet

Final Thoughts: Despite Injuries, Bears Put Together Best Performance Yet
Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune Willie Young celebrates after getting an interception during the second half.

Everyone doubted the Bears heading into their Week 10 road matchup against the defensive minded Rams.

However, John Fox and his resilient group put together their best performance of the season, adding 24 first-half points on the way to a 37-13 victory.

No Matt Forte, no Pernell McPhee, no Eddie Royal, but it was no problem for the Bears. Alshon Jeffery was taken out of the gameplan by the Rams cover-2 shell against him and Martellus Bennett was limited, but Adam Gase’s offense still got the job done.

Winners of four of their last six, the Bears look like a completely different team than the one that went 0-3 to start the year. Health has been an issue and the talent defensively isn’t the best, but the Bears have been playing solid football as of late.

Remember their two losses by a combined six points during this six-game stretch came against Detroit and Minnesota. Imagine if the Bears were able to pull off wins in those games. They’d be sitting at 6-3 rather than 4-5. Considering what’s been going as of late both records are better than expected entering the season.

Quick hitters

Jay Cutler was locked in more than ever as he posted a career-high passer rating of 151. He completed 19-of-24 passes, 258 yards and three touchdowns. In the first half alone, he hit on 12-of-15 pass attempts for 233 yards and three scores. This was the best game of the season for Cutler and his 26-yard run on the read option in the second half was a bright spot.

Cutler is the first quarterback in team history to toss two touchdowns of 80 plus yards. He’s the first in the NFL since 2006 when J.P. Losman accomplished the feat.

-Fourth-round pick Jeremy Langford led the Bears in both rushing and receiving as he combined for 182 yards and two touchdowns on 27 touches (109 receiving, 73 rushing). He joins Gale Sayers as the second rookie in team history to record 70 plus rushing yards and 70 plus receiving yards in two games.

-Tight end Zach Miller had a season-high five catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns and added a first quarter touchdown of 87 yards. He looked more like Rob Gronkowski on the play breaking tackles on his way to the endzone. The Bears’ No. 2 tight end has three touchdowns over his last two games and has certainly come alive in Gase’s offense.

Shea McClellin returned after a three-game absence and led the Bears with eight tackles. He recorded a forced fumble late in the first quarter that looked so much like Charles Tillman. The strip turned into a field goal for the Bears. McClellin looked solid all afternoon following a bad opening drive where the Bears surrendered a touchdown.

Lamarr Houston had the lone sack for the Bears while Bruce Gaston and Sam Acho each had two quarterback hits. Tracy Porter had another steady outing with two pass breakups and he deserves a contract extension after playing well most of the season. Don’t forget about Willie Young’s first career interception late in the fourth quarter.

Low points

Ka’Deem Carey had 14 carries for 56 yards and looked like a nice change of pace option until a fourth quarter fumble. Carey has to overcome some of those issues if he wants to stick around.

Martellus Bennett struggled on the afternoon with only three receptions for 18 yards. The Rams focused on taking him out of the game and they did a good job. Alshon Jeffery had three grabs for 23 yards as St. Louis used a cover-2 shell against him.

-Wide receiver Marquess Wilson had one catch for one yard on a play where he needed two yards to pick up the first down. Filling in again for Eddie Royal, Wilson was targeted three times and failed to get separation.

-Return man Marc Mariani muffed a punt in the first quarter and the Rams added a field goal after setting up shop at the Bears’ 17. Mariani has been a weak link on the Bears’ special teams unit and it’s a glaring need moving forward.

Final Thought

Overall, it was an impressive win for the Bears and if they can tally some more over the next few weeks this could be the one that propelled the run.

John Fox seems to always keep his team in games and they were prepared for this one from the start.

Next up

The Bears host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos next week at Soldier Field. Fox and Gase will be facing their old team in this interconference matchup.

Thoughts on the Bears’ win in St. Louis on Sunday. Make sure to weigh in below.

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